Entrepreneurial personality Lothar Horn has died(zip / )
The entrepreneur Lothar Horn died on 5th February 2023 at the age of 66 after a long, serious illness. Lothar Horn was the managing director of Paul Horn GmbH in Tübingen. He shaped the Horn Group into an internationally successful manufacturer of precision tools with production sites in England, Italy, the Czech Republic and the USA. There are additional subsidiaries in France, Hungary, China, Mexico, Turkey and Thailand. Today, the company is the largest industrial employer in Tübingen. As Chairman of the VDMA Precision Tools Association, Lothar Horn was the mouthpiece of his industry from 2009 to 2019. Lothar Horn is regarded by many in the sector as a pioneer and visionary. His son Markus, Managing Director of Paul Horn GmbH since 2018, will continue to run the company, now in its third generation of family ownership, together with Matthias Rommel, also Managing Director.
Lothar Horn, a technology enthusiast and business economist, joined his parents' company in 1991. Before that, he gained experience in the IT industry and in management consultancies. He became Managing Director on 1st January 1995. In 1999, Lothar Horn created new production and administration facilities as well as a demonstration, research and development centre at the Tübingen headquarters. The new building combined all business processes in one location for the first time, including a coating centre.
In order to further expand its leading position on the world market, another factory was constructed next to the Tübingen headquarters, doubling the production area. Since its completion in 2016, it has been the largest industrial building in use in Tübingen.
Trust in technology and people
"Technology determines costs." - This sentence epitomises Lothar Horn's innovative driving force to be successful selling high-precision tools into world markets. The expansion of production and administration buildings also involved the reorganisation of processes. In addition to production and administration, qualification and customer training took on increasing importance and space at Paul Horn GmbH under Lothar Horn's direction. The Horn Academy is an investment in people and employees. In addition to training internal and external people, it also offers apprenticeships, dual study programmes, retraining and further education. The facility cooperates with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW).
It all depends on the right people in the company, was Lothar Horn's conviction. He relied on freedom, trust and a culture that allows mistakes as well as the opportunity to learn from them. People were just as important to Lothar Horn as technology or modern processes. "His appreciation was for our customers as well as our employees," says his successor Markus Horn, describing his father.
"No car drives, no plane flies (...) without precision tools being used".
For ten years, in addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Lothar Horn was chairman of the Precision Tools Association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). In 2019, his role as official representative of the trade organisation came to an end. "No car drives, no plane flies and no artificial joint can be inserted by doctors without precision tools being used," was one of Lothar Horn's central statements. Paul Horn GmbH is an important and visible player in the industry: Hall 10 at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre bears its name.
A jury of experts awarded Lothar Horn the Tool and Mould Making Medal of Honour at the Moulding Expo trade fair in Stuttgart in 2021. It honours personalities who, as pioneers and visionaries, have set groundbreaking benchmarks and are role models. The jury said of Lothar Horn: "Even though he directs and manages a really big company in the industry, he has remained true to himself over all these years, close and approachable for everyone. A human being."
Committed to the people of Tübingen
The internationally active company leader Lothar Horn remained loyal to the Tübingen location. The Horn Group offers jobs and apprenticeships for 950 employees at the headquarters and 1,500 worldwide. This makes Paul Horn GmbH the largest industrial employer in Tübingen. Lothar Horn was also loyal to the people of the city. Paul Horn GmbH supports social institutions as well as the youth and youth development work of sports clubs, for example. A visible sign of this is the Paul Horn Arena for competitive, amateur and school sports in Tübingen.
The entire Horn Group mourns with the family.